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Men’s Interhall: Defending champion Sorin to take on Zahmbies

Observer Sports Writers | Friday, September 23, 2011

With a demonstrative victory in its first game, Sorin looked poised to emulate the success of last year’s championship team. The Otters (1-0) will be up for a tough game Sunday, though, as they face a well-rested Zahm team looking to start its season with a win.

Sorin opened its season last Sunday with a strong 24-8 win over Fisher. The Otters displayed a combination of high-powered offense and aggressive defense, holding Fisher to four first downs the entire game.

Despite the positive result, Sorin junior quarterback and captain Ted Spinelli believes there is room for improvement.

“I think that the first game was an inaccurate representation of the talent on this team,” Spinelli said. “If we play a complete game this week, we can score even more points.”

Spinelli will be important to the success of the offense, as he ran for a touchdown last week and threw a long touchdown pass to junior receiver Ryan Robinson.

Zahm (0-0) comes off a 2010 season in which it failed to score in its first three games, but broke through with an upset against St. Edward’s in its final game.

Senior center and captain Ryan Costello is confident in the team’s game plan as it heads into the first game.

“We plan to utilize the run heavily early on in the game and have our quarterback make some plays down the field,” Costello said.

To achieve offensive success, the Zahmbies will look to junior quarterback Alex Bowman and senior running back Colin Casey.

On defense, Zahm features junior linebacker and defensive coordinator Greg Allare, who looks to make the plays and calls necessary to stop the Otters.

Zahm kicks off its season against defending champion Sorin at 1 p.m. Sunday at Riehle Fields.

Siegfried vs. Knott

One of the best interhall rivalries will take place again when Siegfried and Knott go head-to-head Sunday, as each team looks to form some separation in the league standings.

Knott (1-0) opened its season with a low-scoring win against Duncan. The lone score of the game was a touchdown pass from junior quarterback Jake Coleman to sophomore receiver Joe McGillicuddy.

Knott took away many positives from the game, but junior captain Brian Kwak knows his offense will need to step it up for this week’s contest.

“Last week, our defense showed real potential to match up well against anyone we go against,” Kwak said. “We proved that we have improved since last year.”

The Juggerknotts’ know they have talent and potential, and looks to expand and build upon its foundation this season. Kwak believes that the their style of play will reflect major changes.

“This year we are looking to develop a lock down defense that can compete with any style of offense and a more dynamic offense that can keep opponents on their toes,” Kwak said.

Siegfried (0-0) had a bye last week. The Ramblers are coming off a successful 2010 campaign that ended in disappointment when they fell in the semifinals.

Last season’s loss has given the team more reason to have a stronger season.

“We are hungry to get back to the stadium, like we did two years prior to that loss,” Siegfried senior captain John Aversa said.

For the Ramblers and the Juggerknotts, rivalry runs hot.

“We will have to play hard to beat a team as big, strong and fast as Knott,” Aversa said.

Siegfried and Knott square off at 1 p.m. at Riehle Fields with bragging rights on the line.

Alumni vs. Duncan

Coming off offensive struggles, Alumni and Duncan both look to continue their defensive dominance and increase their offensive production when they face each other this week.

Alumni (1-0) hopes to build upon last Sunday’s 7-0 shutout against Morrissey.

“Our defense played extremely well,” senior running back and captain Dan Dansdill said. “They really didn’t have a chance to score. The defense was lights out.”

The Dawgs hope to complement this with a reinvigorated offense. Their starting quarterback, sophomore Will Cronin, did not play last week due to a rolled ankle. This week he is questionable based on his performance at practice.

“If Will plays this week, look for him to have a big impact on the game,” Dansdill said.

With a healthy offense, the Dawgs hope to put everything together and boost their offense against Duncan.

“We need to get the little things right,” Dansdill said. “We’re looking forward to it.”

Duncan (0-1), on the other hand, is coming off a tough loss at the hands of Knott, but their defense also played well.

“The defense looks great,” junior right tackle and captain Neil Eveld said. “We just gave up one big pass play that ended up being a touchdown.”

The Highlanders are tightening up their pass coverage after scouting a pass-favoring Dawgs offense.

“We have seen that Alumni passes a lot, so our defense has been working hard on that,” Eveld said.

Offensively, the Highlanders come off a disappointing week when a last-minute touchdown was called back due to holding. Duncan expects sophomore quarterback Josh Whelan to have a big game and get the offense going.

“The offense is doing their thing, as we hope to improve on last week,” Eveld said.

Alumni and Duncan pit their strong defenses against each other at Riehle Fields at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Carroll vs. Fisher

Fisher and Carroll will meet Sunday when the Green Wave look to rebound from an opening loss while the Vermin hope to continue their winning ways.

Fisher (0-1) heads into the game coming off a loss to Sorin. Fisher started the game in a slump, giving up two quick touchdowns and committing early miscues on the way to a 24-8 defeat.

Fisher looks to improve their offensive execution against Carroll (1-0).

“We want to make sure to execute and move the ball better on offense, while avoiding turnovers,” junior captain Matt Hart said.

The Green Wave also want to solidify their defense after giving up three touchdowns last week.

Carroll hopes to ride the early momentum from their win against St. Edward’s last week. Carroll capitalized on strong offensive execution and a solid defense.

“We came in with a game plan on offense and stuck with it and it worked out,” junior captain Keith Marrero said. “Then we just had a well-executed defense.”

The team does hope to improve on fixing a few mental mistakes and penalties. The Vermin want to add new plays into both their offensive and defensive playbooks.

“We want to not have too many mental mistakes,” Marrero said. “We want to throw in new wrinkles and sharpen up our offense.”

Fisher and Carroll play at Riehle Fields at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Stanford vs. Keough

Stanford will open its season this Sunday against a reeling Keough team that is looking for redemption.

The Kangaroos (0-1) produced a solid defensive performance in a loss to Keenan 17-6 last week.

“Our defense is going to continue to be hard hitting and tough,” junior Keough captain and linebacker Rob Toole said.

The Kangaroos, however, struggled to gain consistency on offense, committing three turnovers and five penalties. Keough hopes the momentum they gained at the end of last game with a 56-yard touchdown drive will carry over to Sunday.

“We have had some pretty tough games in the past, and we are expecting for this one to be even more vicious,” Toole said. “[But] we are definitely expecting a victory Sunday.”

Stanford comes into the game hoping to improve upon its 3-1 finish last year.

“I think we’ll be better this year and be strong heading into the playoffs,” junior captain Paul Babiak said. “We’ve always been at the top of our division, and I think we’ll be back there by the end of the season.”

Babiak said his team has rallied around new offensive coordinator junior Matthew Tansey and will be ready to take on the Kangaroos.

“Keough has always played us close, but we’re pretty prepared for them,” Babiak said. “We’re really excited and can’t wait to hit the field Sunday.”

The Griffins will look for their defensive line to be a strength Sunday. Junior Jim Waclawik and senior Kyle Obendorf, proven performers for Stanford, will be important pieces on the line.

Stanford and Keough will face off Sunday at 3 p.m at Riehle Fields.

Dillon vs. Keenan

 

With both teams coming off an opening win, Dillon and Keenan are both feeling ready to battle it out in their upcoming game Sunday. Heading into the game, confidence is not an issue for either team.

The Big Red (1-0) took charge on the field last Sunday by winning 24-0 over O’Neill. Even though a score like that could send spirits high, junior captain Will Salvi is focused on keeping the same mentality and reeling in another win this week.

“If we improve on our passing, make smarter plays and keep pushing it at the defensive line, then we’re solid,” Salvi said. “We take each game at a time and we are ready to rumble.”

Sophomore quarterback Kevin Fink leads the Big Red offensive attack.

Although the Big Red are feeling pretty big, the Knights (1-0) are also ready to line up and battle it out.

Keenan took control Sunday with a striking 16-6 win over Keough and is ready to do the same this week.

“We have tightened up and are starting to play well together,” senior captain Erik Blackwood said. “We have been preparing for a few weeks and we know what we can do. We take it one week at a time, and every time looking forward to getting back out on the field.”

Coming off a big game against Keough, the Knights will look to junior quarterback Andrew McDonough to lead the offense.

It will be a contest between Big Red’s rock-hard defense and the Knights’ operative offense when Dillon and Keenan square off at 3 p.m. Sunday at Riehle Fields.